Blog Entry

Predictable end to Iverson's Philly return

Posted on: March 2, 2010 10:16 am
Edited on: March 2, 2010 10:47 am
As much as I enjoyed Act I of Allen Iverson's career in Philadelphia, Act II never seemed like a good idea. Now, under much different circumstances than the ones that marked A.I.'s first tour in Philly, he's done in the city he owned for so long.

Done for good? That remains to be seen.

The Sixers confirmed Tuesday what has seemed obvious since the All-Star break -- that Iverson's return to Philadelphia is over. Unable to be around the team consistently while he tends to his ill daughter, Iverson and the Sixers are parting ways under amicable terms.

Team president Ed Stefanski had set a deadline of this week for Iverson to determine whether he'd be able to return to the team for good. Things never progressed to that point after the team granted Iverson an indefinite leave of absence after the All-Star break.

Two book-keeping matters related to A.I.'s season being over: He isn't being released, so there's no significance to this event happening after the March 1 deadline by which players must be released in order to be playoff-eligible for another team. (Since Iverson isn't able to play for the Sixers due to what's going on in his life, he wouldn't be able to play for anyone else, either). Also, Iverson gets paid for the whole season, because his one-year contract for the prorated veteran's minimum of $1.3 million became guaranteed on Jan. 10.

As is usually the case with Iverson, his situation is more complex than he or the team has admitted. While it would be in poor taste to criticize Iverson given the undisclosed health issues his daughter is experiencing, Iverson needlessly put himself in the crosshairs of criticism by co-promoting a club party with Jermaine Dupri on Feb. 27 in Charlotte. The promotional poster is here, complete with many dubious tweets confirming Iverson's appearance at the party. 

What does all of this mean for Iverson's future? It's foolish to even guess. But given that Iverson already has "retired" once this season, and given that his last three employment arrangements have ended badly, it's hard to imagine another team taking a chance on him next season, when he'll be 35.

Hard to imagine, but not impossible. Iverson was able to charm the Grizzlies and Sixers, so it's wise not to underestimate his ability to unleash his powers of persuasion on another NBA owner this summer.

If, on the other hand, there's no market for a 35-year-old scoring guard with arthritis and a series of bad breakups in his wake, that'll be too bad. If this is the end for Iverson, it's a sad, unfulfilling way for him to go out.

There was never a player even remotely like him, and it's safe to say there never will be.

One more thing, on a nostalgic note. Iverson, one of the most important sports figures in Philadelphia history, goes out on a very significant day. One year ago, I promised to acknowledge the anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game every year in this blog on March 2. And here we are on March 2 -- pausing to remember Wilt's historic night in Hershey, Pa., in 1962 and saying good-bye another member of Philly's basketball Mount Rushmore.

In some ways, Iverson was a giant. In other ways, he fell short of what he could have been. But one thing you can't take away from him: He made sure everybody knew he was here.


Since: May 19, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2010 7:14 pm
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Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2010 3:53 pm

Predictable end to Iverson's Philly return

He needs so much time to mourn over his daughter's illness yet he finds plenty of time to make a club appearance with Jumaine Dupri in Charlotte this past weekend.

Since: Apr 27, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2010 3:07 pm
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Since: Dec 23, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2010 12:09 pm

Predictable end to Iverson's Philly return

I have always enjoyed watching AI play and wish his career would have lasted longer.   I think there is nothing wrong with him promoting a night club.  It doesnt take as much time(if any) away from his family, like basketball does.   I wish him and his family well.   Good job by the Sixers by keeping this low key .

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2010 11:50 am

Predictable end to Iverson's Philly return

I don't see how this was a "predictable" end for A.I. I mean I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see him not playing the season out because his daughter was sick......I honestly think people are making too big of a deal out of this, Allen Iverson finally decided what's important in life, and got his priorities straight, and no people want to question him? Leave the guy alone, he's already got enough going on in his life with his daughter and I'm sure its causing a lot of stress on his family in general. Good luck with everything A.I., you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Since: Jun 27, 2007
Posted on: March 2, 2010 10:46 am

Predictable end to Iverson's Philly return

He's leaving because his kid is sick... and the Sixers did a lot better with him this season. They went 10-15 with him, including losing the first 4 games of his stint during that monumental 12 game losing streak. W/O AI they are 12 - 22, and if you took those first 4 games out - they've been 10-11 with him - just about the same winning % as the 8 seed in the East.

He proved to be a spike in ticket sales for a vet minimum contract, injected a little life into a lost season for the Sixers and he is again, unable to return because his kid is sick.

So.... why was Act II a bad idea?

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